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Housing Planning Takes On A Virtual Twist

June 16, 2020

Neither rain, nor snow, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor pandemic can stop community leaders from envisioning a better future for their communities – even if they have to do it virtually.

Community leaders in Ida Grove are learning about their community’s need for housing while also learning new uses for platforms such as Adobe Connect, Mural virtual strategic planning software, Google Docs, Qualtrics surveys and, of course, Zoom.

Ida Grove is the inaugural community for the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment (RHRA) program that Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community Economic Development is providing through grants from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and their Empower Rural Iowa division.

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Ida Grove pilots Rural Housing Readiness Assessment program

September 21, 2020

Your house is now everything – your home, your office, your kids’ school. Turns out, if you spend months on end in your house, the importance of quality, affordable, and safe housing that meets your lifestyle needs is top of mind.

Add in all the news about housing: looming foreclosures and evictions, houses lost to derechos, historically low mortgage interest rates, and suddenly housing is something that matters more than ever. However, with everything going on, who has time to focus on community housing needs? Well, if you are socially distancing and Zooming all day anyway, it’s a perfect time to evaluate and plan for a different future.

At least that’s how it turned out for Ida Grove. Way back in the olden days before COVID-19, Ida Grove agreed to pilot the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment program being offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community Economic Development (CED) in cooperation with the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Community Development Block Grant technical assistance fund.

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Locally run home repair and rehab programs offer options for addressing housing needs

November 23, 2020

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED), in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Empower Rural Iowa initiative, has been helping rural communities form local housing policy and create housing action plans through the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment (RHRA) program. To date, CED specialists have worked with seven communities, with five more set to begin the program this winter.

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